Simon Willison’s Weblog


Friday, 19th July 2013

What advice would Simon Willison give to a beginner Python/Django developer?

Build something and put it on the internet. Make sure you have an easy way to deploy new versions (Heroku is a good bet if you don’t want to figure out Fabric). Pick a project that’s useful to you—a simple blogging engine is often a good bet, or maybe something that aggregates together your posts from Twitter and Instagram and so on. Or come up with something a bit more creative!

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Y Combinator Demo Day and Class of Summer 2013: Is it true that YC alumni are participating in the primary selection process during S13?

Yes—this has been happening for a few years now. Here’s Paul Graham’s announcement about it back in October 2009: Announcement: YC alumni will help us read applications

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How do you become a good programmer?

In my experience new programmers progress a LOT faster if they’re learning with a higher level dynamic language such as Python or Ruby than if they only use C++ or Java. That’s not to say it isn’t a good idea to learn Java/C++ (though I’d encourage you to learn C as a lower-level language) but you may find you pick up programming concepts a whole bunch faster with a language that has a good interactive prompt.

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Is it probable that one of the major forum software packages will support Ajax soon?

Those codebases are all terrifyingly ancient. I suggest taking a look at instead which is a much more modern take on forum software.

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2013 » July